Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority is normally pretty quick to ban ads people complain about. But when it received angry letters about the model in Miu Miu‘s spring ad campaign being too thin, it made a mildly surprising decision not to pull the ad from public view.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the ad, which features model 23-year-old model Kasia Struss sitting in a mirrored room, had to be evaluted against the the Authority’s social responsibility guidelines. Those guidelines try to guard against images that might be damaging or suggestive, and ads like Diesel‘s Be Stupid campaign and Beyonce‘s commercial for her fragrance Heat have fallen afoul of those rules in the past year.
But after a careful analysis, the Miu Miu ad didn’t trip the organization’s alarms. From the ASA’s official report on the ad:
‘The ASA noted that the model in the ad was slim, and that the lighting effects, make-up and low-cut dress emphasised her body shape. However, we considered that the ad was typical of those used for fashion products and that the model did not look significantly underweight. We therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.’
The thing here is that they’re right — Struss isn’t really any thinner (and doesn’t appear in the ad to be any thinner) than most models used in glossy campaigns. But it’s interesting that other glossy campaigns are the litmus test for whether or not this ad was irresponsible. We’d venture that other ads in this category tend to be pretty irresponsible, and if this ad’s portrayal of thinness was enough to scare people into writing angry letters, maybe the ASA needs a new benchmark for what’s “irresponsible.”